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back to index backASIAtalk October,  2005


China's overseas acquisitions skyrocket

Chinese enterprises' overseas acquisition increased by 182.5 per cent year-on-year in volume in the first half of this year, according to the latest information published by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

Acquisitions accounted for over 80 per cent of Chinese companies' total outward investment, revealed the co-operation department of MOFCOM yesterday (Oct 11) in a statement on its website. In the first seven months of this year, China's outward investment hit US$2.5 billion.

Asia, which attracted an investment of US$1.9 billion from China, or over 75 per cent of the country's total from January to July, topped China's investment destinations. It was followed by investments in Latin America, North America and Africa.

The department also predicted that the country would carry on this fast-growing trend in overseas investment throughout the rest of the year.

Despite these large figures and some successful deals fulfilled, such as Lenovo's consolidation with IBM's PC (personal computer) business, experts suggested that companies adopt a rational and cautious manner towards overseas acquisitions.

Meng Liang, managing director of JPMorgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd, was quoted by 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese business newspaper, as saying that overseas acquisition were perhaps not familiar with all Chinese companies, though this was encouraged.

"Only a small number of Chinese enterprises are qualified to conduct overseas acquisitions and have an inner demand for it," he said.

His remarks were echoed by a survey jointly made by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada), an independent think-tank on Canada's relations with Asia.

The outcome of the survey suggested that most Chinese enterprises would invest overseas in the medium term instead of in the near future.

"China's overseas contracting business will grow by double-digits this year," the department forecasted.

Chinese contractors achieved nearly a US$11.8 billion sales volume in overseas projects in the first eight months this year, reflecting an increase of 20.9 per cent year-on year.

The value of their newly signed contracts totalled US$15.9 billion in this period, 4.8 per cent up over the previous year. Sixty-two among the newly inked contracts are of a value of more than US$50 million while 23 over US$100 million.

By the end of August, China's total overseas sales volume reached US$125.8 billion and a contracted volume of some US$172.2 billion.

Statistics from the ministry show that Chinese contractors' overseas business from January to August focused on the Asian and African markets, which account for 44 and 27 per cent of the total sales volume respectively.

North America only accounted for 2 per cent of contractors' sales and Europe about 10 per cent.

Their profit mainly came from sectors involving building construction, transportation, petrol chemicals, communications and electrical industries.

In addition, China realized some US$2.85 billion in overseas labour co-operation from January to August, up 31.6 per cent from the previous year. New contracts grew around 15.8 per cent in volume to some US2.46 billion during this period.

In the first eight months, the country had provided 150,000 labourers abroad while around 537, 000 labourers were living overseas by the end of August.

Japan ranks the first among China's overseas labour markets, followed by Singapore, South Korea, Macao and Hong Kong, according to statistics from the ministry.

These overseas labourers are working in various industries such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and transportation sectors. Some of these individuals are providing services in fields such as consultation, management and information technology.

Source: China Daily - GAI


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ASIAtalk

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